Last summer for my sister in laws birthday we had invited her over for dinner and I asked what kind of cake she wanted. She sent me a pinterest picture for this Circus Animal Cheesecake and I was immediately excited to make it! I probably never would have made it for my kids so this was a fun chance to make it. And this way I could send half of it home with her!
Even though there are several steps to get this Circus Animal Cheesecake made, it is completely worth it! Though it is extremely rich! Again…. totally worth it!
I felt like it was so pretty that I kept taking pictures of it and didn’t really want to cut into it!
Recipe from Life, Love and Sugar
2 1/4 cups frosted animal cookie crumbs
2 tbsp salted butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups chopped frosted animal cookies, divided
WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
6 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Pink gel icing color
1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
- Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
- Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in.
- Set prepared pan aside.
- Reduce oven to 300°F
- In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, mixing on low speed until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beat slowly and scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg.
- Stir in 1 1/4 cups of chopped animal cookies just until mixed, so the colors from the sprinkles don’t mix into the batter too much.
- Pour a small amount of batter into the bottom of the crust in an even layer, then add the remaining 3/4 cup of chopped animal cookies.
- Pour the remaining cheesecake filling into crust, over the cookies, and spread into an even layer.
- Place springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
- Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
- Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
TO FINISH OFF THE CHEESECAKE
- When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
- To make the white chocolate ganache start with putting the white chocolate chips in a bowl.
- Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If it doesn’t melt completely, microwave for 10-20 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
- Color the ganache with a little pink gel coloring.
- Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer.
- To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Mix on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add dollops of the whipped cream on top of the white chocolate ganache.
- Top the cheesecake with frosted animal cookies and some sprinkles. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
The only thing I was bummed about it not getting a well lit picture of it sliced! It was already getting late by the time we cut into it, but it is still pretty and I was pretty darn proud of how it turned out!
If this Circus Animal Cheesecake sounds amazing or if you love cheesecake as much as I do, check out The Perfect Cheesecake, Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, and Mini Snickers Cheesecakes.